Unemployment Alters the Set-Point for Life Satisfaction
According to set-point theories of subjective well-being, people react to events, but then return to initial levels of happiness and satisfaction over time. We test this idea by examining reaction and adaptation to unemployment in a 15-year longitudinal study. In accordance with set-point theory, individuals first reacted strongly to unemployment and then shifted back toward their former (or “baseline”) levels of life satisfaction. However, on average, individuals did not completely return to their former levels of life satisfaction, even after they became re-employed. The findings suggests that even a short period of unemployment can cause an alteration in a person’s long-term set-point. Within-person analyses showed, however, that there are considerable individual differences in reaction and adaptation to unemployment. Although there was substantial stability in life satisfaction over the years, unemployment did influence long-term levels, thus suggesting that in addition to personality, long-term subjective well-being can also be influenced by life circumstances.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bru:bruppp:02-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John.Hunter)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.